Table of contents



Hitching a ride with motor proteins p1


The biological machines that operate in cells are frequently a starting point for the development of synthetic molecular motors.



The emergence of the nanobiotechnology industry pp2 - 5

Elicia Maine, V. J. Thomas, Martin Bliemel, Armstrong Murira & James Utterback


The confluence of nanotechnology and biotechnology provides significant commercial opportunities. By identifying, classifying and tracking firms with capabilities in both biotechnology and nanotechnology over time, we analyse the emergence and evolution of the global nanobiotechnology industry.



Does scale matter at the nanoscale? pp6 - 7

Chris Toumey


Eric Drexler has restated his vision of nanotechnology in a new book. Chris Toumey explores its apparent contradictions.


Research Highlights

Our choice from the recent literature p8



News and Views

Molecular motors: Myosins move ahead of the pack pp9 - 10

David S. Tsao & Michael R. Diehl


An artificial motor protein with loosely coordinated subunits can travel at high speed and over long distances.

See also: Letter by Schindler et al.

Molecular motors: On track with nanotubes pp10 - 11

Anand Jagota


DNA motors can transport CdS nanoparticles along tracks made of carbon nanotubes.

See also: Letter by Cha et al.

Molecular motors: DNA takes control pp11 - 12

Arne Gennerich


Polarized arrays of microtubules can be assembled and disassembled using motor proteins that are programmed by DNA strands.

See also: Letter by Wollman et al.

Magnetic properties: The exchange changes everything pp13 - 14

Wulf Wulfhekel


The exchange interaction between the electron spin in individual magnetic atoms and the spin of electrons in a non-magnetic substrate has a strong effect on the magnetic anisotropy of the atoms.

See also: Letter by Oberg et al.

Magnetic devices: Clocking with no field pp14 - 15

Michael Niemier


Nanomagnet logic devices that do not require a magnetic field for clocking can now be fabricated.

See also: Letter by Bhowmik et al.

Fluorescent nanoparticles: Diamonds from outer space pp16 - 17

Christoph Becher


Stable fluorescence is observed in nanodiamonds of molecular dimensions extracted from a meteorite.

See also: Letter by Vlasov et al.



Silicon nanostructures for photonics and photovoltaics pp19 - 32

Francesco Priolo, Tom Gregorkiewicz, Matteo Galli & Thomas F. Krauss


This Review reports the state of the art for silicon nanostructures used in photonics and photovoltaic applications, and highlights the challenges for making silicon a high-performing photonic material.



Engineering myosins for long-range transport on actin filaments pp33 - 38

Tony D. Schindler, Lu Chen, Paul Lebel, Muneaki Nakamura & Zev Bryant


Diverse myosins can be modified by non-natural means to obtain high processivity on actin filaments.

See also: News and Views by Tsao & Diehl

A synthetic DNA motor that transports nanoparticles along carbon nanotubes pp39 - 43

Tae-Gon Cha, Jing Pan, Haorong Chen, Janette Salgado, Xiang Li, Chengde Mao & Jong Hyun Choi


Motors based on RNA-cleaving DNA enzymes can transport cadmium sulphide nanocrystals along single-walled carbon nanotubes.

See also: News and Views by Jagota

Transport and self-organization across different length scales powered by motor proteins and programmed by DNA pp44 - 47

Adam J. M. Wollman, Carlos Sanchez-Cano, Helen M. J. Carstairs, Robert A. Cross & Andrew J. Turberfield


Kinesin motor proteins conjugated to DNA nanostructures can be used to assemble a network of microtubule tracks, and to control the loading, active concentration and unloading of cargo on this network, or trigger its disassembly.

See also: News and Views by Gennerich

Enhancing spontaneous emission rates of molecules using nanopatterned multilayer hyperbolic metamaterials pp48 - 53

Dylan Lu, Jimmy J. Kan, Eric E. Fullerton & Zhaowei Liu


The spontaneous emission rate and emission intensity of dye molecules are significantly enhanced by using a nanopatterned multilayer hyperbolic metamaterial.

Molecular-sized fluorescent nanodiamonds pp54 - 58

Igor I. Vlasov, Andrey A. Shiryaev, Torsten Rendler, Steffen Steinert, Sang-Yun Lee, Denis Antonov, Márton Vörös, Fedor Jelezko, Anatolii V. Fisenko, Lubov F. Semjonova, Johannes Biskupek, Ute Kaiser, Oleg I. Lebedev, Ilmo Sildos, Philip. R. Hemmer, Vitaly I. Konov, Adam Gali & Jörg Wrachtrup


Diamond nanoparticles containing only about 400 atoms emit bright fluorescence due to silicon vacancy defects.

See also: News and Views by Becher

Spin Hall effect clocking of nanomagnetic logic without a magnetic field pp59 - 63

Debanjan Bhowmik, Long You & Sayeef Salahuddin


Nanomagnetic logic elements that do not require a magnetic field for clocking are now fabricated.

See also: News and Views by Niemier

Control of single-spin magnetic anisotropy by exchange coupling pp64 - 68

Jenny C. Oberg, M. Reyes Calvo, Fernando Delgado, María Moro-Lagares, David Serrate, David Jacob, Joaquín Fernández-Rossier & Cyrus F. Hirjibehedin


The spin excitation energy and the magnetic anisotropy of individual atoms can be modified by varying the exchange coupling of the atomic spin to metallic leads.

See also: News and Views by Wulfhekel

Efficient solar water-splitting using a nanocrystalline CoO photocatalyst pp69 - 73

Longb Liao, Qiuhui Zhang, Zhihua Su, Zhongzheng Zhao, Yanan Wang, Yang Li, Xiaoxiang Lu, Dongguang Wei, Guoying Feng, Qingkai Yu, Xiaojun Cai, Jimin Zhao, Zhifeng Ren, Hui Fang, Francisco Robles-Hernandez, Steven Baldelli & Jiming Bao


Cobalt oxide nanoparticles can carry out overall water splitting with a solar-to-hydrogen efficiency of around 5%.

Hierarchical assembly of metal nanoparticles, quantum dots and organic dyes using DNA origami scaffolds pp74 - 78

Robert Schreiber, Jaekwon Do, Eva-Maria Roller, Tao Zhang, Verena J. Schüller, Philipp C. Nickels, Jochen Feldmann & Tim Liedl


Rigid DNA origami scaffolds can be used to hierarchically organize metal nanoparticles, quantum dots and organic dyes into functional nanoclusters that have a planet–satellite-type structure.



Spin-resolved Andreev levels and parity crossings in hybrid superconductor–semiconductor nanostructures pp79 - 84

Eduardo J. H. Lee, Xiaocheng Jiang, Manuel Houzet, Ramón Aguado, Charles M. Lieber & Silvano De Franceschi


A study of the magnetic fine structure of the electronic states in a semiconductor quantum dot coupled to a superconducting contact highlights important elements that should be taken into account in the search for Majorana modes in the solid state.